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October 22, 2004

News 10/22/04 - Finucane Family Will Boycott Probe

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 10/22/04 Finucane Family Will Boycott Probe
BT 10/22/04 Sinn Fein Call For CS Spray Withdrawal
IT 10/23/04 11 People Earned €1,000,000 In 2001- And Paid No Tax
IF 10/22/04 IRA Ready To Disband By March
TE 10/22/04 Sinn Fein Defends Its Right To Keep Claiming
BT 10/22/04 £1,000 A Week For Council Trips
PS 10/22/04 Orange March Gets Council Backing
IT 10/23/04 Near-Record Field For Marathon
SB 10/22/04 Mick Maloney: Professor Wakes Up Forgotten Music
BB 10/22/04 Irish Singer's Port Quiz Anger

RT 10/22/04 Al-Jazeera Airs Plea From Hostage –VO

See video of Al-Jazeera Airs Plea From Hostage - Jonathan Clynch
reports on the latest video of the hostage to be shown on an Arab
television station


Finucane Family Will Boycott Probe

22 October 2004

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has angrily
denounced British government plans to hold an official inquiry at
least partially in camera, warning that they will boycott it.

Mr Finucane's widow Geraldine, and his sons Michael and John, met
with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Government Buildings yesterday to
press their concerns.

They said afterwards that Mr Ahern had fully backed their position
and outlined his own view that anything short of a full public
inquiry would fall short of previous guarantees.

A British inquiry in the absence of total transparency would be
"meaningless", warned Michael Finucane who added that there was now
ample evidence of British intelligence involvement in the 1989
loyalist murder of his father.


Sinn Fein Call For CS Spray Withdrawal

By Brendan McDaid
22 October 2004

Sinn Fein in Londonderry today called for the immediate withdrawal
of CS spray following the suspension of a PSNI officer.

The police yesterday confirmed that one officer had been suspended
pending an investigation into the use of the spray during a series
of disturbances in the city centre last weekend.

Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming today claimed the man on whom the
spray was used in the early hours of Saturday morning was
handcuffed at the time.

Councillor Fleming alleged: "Sinn Fein has been on record of
stating that the PSNI should never have been armed with CS spray in
the first place, due to the fact that it was introduced without
proper consultation and investigation into its medical effects.

"We have seen in most occasions where it has been used in Derry
that it has been misused and that the side effects are quite

He further claimed: "The people of Derry have no confidence in the
PSNI investigating themselves in private or that the Policing Board
can hold them to account."

Announcing the suspension yesterday, the PSNI defended the use of
CS spray by its officers.

A spokesman said: "The Police Service continues to work pro-
actively to ensure as wide an understanding as possible of CS

"It is an important and valuable police instrument."

The spokesman added: "In August, the Police Service decided to
voluntarily refer every incident of CS spray use to the Police


Eleven People Earned €1,000,000 In 2001- And Paid No Tax

By Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent, Cliff Taylor

A range of property tax schemes, extended to 2006, in this year's
Budget, were the key vehicles behind the low tax payments for many
higher earners revealed yesterday.

The figures showed 41 people earning over €500,000 and 11 earning
over €1 million paid no income tax in the 2001 tax year.

Labour has called for a minimum income tax rate and an end to
various loopholes after its inquiries revealed the latest data.
Nine of these 41 were PAYE workers and 32 self-employed, according
to data given by the Minister for Finance, Mr Cowen, to Labour's
finance spokeswoman, Ms Joan Burton, in reply to a Dáil question.

A previous Revenue Commissioners study for 1999-2000 showed
investment schemes in hotels, car parks and other property schemes
were the main vehicles used by the wealthy to reduce their tax
bills and this remains the case.

In the 2003 Budget, former Minister for Finance Mr Charlie McCreevy
said a range of these schemes would end this year. But following
intensive lobbying he said in this year's Budget that this
finishing date would be extended to July 2006.

But the Department of Finance, said that since 1998 measures had
been introduced to close such loopholes and to reduce their
effectiveness as tax shelters.

While Labour, the Green Party and Sinn Féin expressed outrage at
the figures, the Department said they showed that out of 10,828
PAYE taxpayers on €100,000 or more, 10,741 were liable for tax at
the 42 per cent tax rate, 40 at the 20 per cent tax rate while just
47 had a nil net income tax liability.

The figures also showed that out of 9,240 self-employed people
earning over €100,000, 8,936 were liable for tax at the 42 per cent
rate, 109 at the standard rate and 195 had no net tax liability.
The Department said many loopholes had been closed in Budgets and
Finance Acts since 1998.

Mr Cowen said the non-payment of tax by high-earning individuals
arose because "the gross income is reduced by various relevant
deductions and allowances such as capital allowances, losses,
allowable expenses and retirement annuities. In some cases, these
will reduce the taxable income to nil."

Ms Burton denounced the unequal treatment of taxpayers arising from
the tax loopholes available to the wealthy and questioned the fact
that only 20,000 people declared incomes exceeding €100,000.

© The Irish Times


IRA Ready To Disband By March

Posted Fri, 22 Oct 2004

Northern Ireland's main Catholic paramilitary force, the Irish
Republican Army (IRA), will disband by March next year if a peace
breakthrough is achieved, an Irish newspaper said on Friday.

The IRA, whose political wing is Sinn Fein, will formally declare
it is being disbanded before or during March 2005 if "the staged
process that will flow from an agreement proceeds smoothly",
Ireland's Irish Examiner newspaper said.

Quoting "high-level sources" in the Republican movement, it said,
however, that even if things went as planned, IRA's intelligence-
gathering units would not be fully disbanded.

"While they will be stood down militarily, they will be redeployed
and absorbed into the Sinn Fein party," it said.

Former IRA personnel would form part of an expanded political
intelligence-gathering unit, focusing its efforts on political
expansion south of the border in the Irish Republic, where Sinn
Fein has five MPs in the 166-strong Dail (lower house of

European elections last June also saw the first Sinn Fein deputy
from Ireland elected to the European Parliament.

The Examiner said that if a breakthrough in talks between parties
in Northern Ireland was achieved in the next 10 days, the formal
end of the IRA would be the last act of a sequence of carefully
choreographed events.

"The first would be a substantial act of 'visible' decommissioning
by the IRA to kick-start the process, followed by a series of other
symbolic acts designed to build confidence and trust on both
sides," the newspaper reported.

Talks between the parties have been ongoing since three days of
intensive discussions at Leeds Castle, southeast England last month
— co-chaired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Irish
counterpart Bertie Ahern — which failed to revive a power-sharing
government in Belfast.

Power-sharing in Northern Ireland was enshrined in the Good Friday
accord of 1998 which ended three decades of sectarian strife, but
it was suspended in October 2002 amid a breakdown in confidence.

Sinn Fein is the largest Catholic party in the province, but the
largest Protestant party, the Democratic Unionists, refuse to share
power with it in a devolved government until the IRA is disarmed
and disbanded.



Sinn Fein Defends Its Right To Keep Claiming

By Ted Oliver
(Filed: 23/10/2004)

Sinn Fein yesterday defended its policy of taking expenses payments
from a parliament it refuses to recognise.

The four Sinn Fein Westminster MPs, who refuse to swear the oath of
allegiance or take their seats in the Commons, have received a
total of more than £400,000 in expenses from Parliament. This
includes almost £80,000 in travelling and accommodation expenses
for parliamentary business.

Michelle Gildernew, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, claimed
£115,420 in parliamentary expenses, the highest of the party's MPs.
Of that, £18,400 was in Additional Costs Allowances, technically
awarded "to reimburse members for necessary costs incurred when
staying overnight away from their main home for the purpose of
performing parliamentary duties".

Sinn Fein pointed out that its four members have offices at
Westminster and make regular visits to London to lobby opinion and
meet officials on behalf of their constituents. It said the bulk of
the expenses money was for running constituency offices. The party
leader, Gerry Adams, received a total of £109,315, including
£18,268 in Additional Costs Allowances and £5,653 for travel.


£1,000 A Week For Council Trips

By Brian Hutton
22 October 2004

Derry City Council spends more than £1,000 a week of ratepayers'
money sending delegates on trips, we can reveal today.

In this year's budget, £56,200 has been set aside for councillors
and council officers travelling to conferences or fact-finding

That is on average £1,000 per month more than last year.

And this is an estimated figure, which could rise. The final
expenditure will not be confirmed until the end of March 2005.

Sinn Fein councillor Barney O'Hagan said today that councillors
continue to take trips that "have no benefit" to the ratepayers.

Last year, the local authority spent over £44,000 on accommodation,
travelling, and attendance money as well as other benefits for
councillors leaving the city.

Unlike Belfast City Council, Derry's local representatives are not
bound to publish details of all their expenses and excursions
online for the public to see.

This year, already, ratepayers have funded councillors' trips to
Miami, San Jose, Boston, Seattle and London.

A council spokesperson said it would need to employ someone for
several days to retrieve a breakdown of where the £56,200 was

Subsistence allowances - advances for meals, buses and taxis, for
which receipts must be provided - are available to councillors if
they are away for more than a day. Council will also pay for meals
for delegates on a visit or at a conference. There are no limits or
guidelines laid out on how much can be spent.

Airfares and accommodation are all paid for and booked through the

Representatives can further claim £22 attendance allowance, per
day, for every day they attend an event.

While not surprised at the annual spend on visits, Mr O'Hagan
conceded that it "probably is excessive".

"[Councillors] still attend conferences that have no benefit to
council," he said.

"There are conferences covering every subject you can think of.
Some cover subjects so specialised, the benefits are questionable."

Furthermore, many conferences cover the same ground, added Mr

"If you did a comparative analysis, there's bound to be replicated
processes, there's that many different organisations and
associations talking on the same topic."

Local Government Auditor Stephen Knox said the council's accounts
for last year are presently being scrutinised.

"We'll be looking at this on a sample basis. We want to make sure
there is a back up for all the figures," he added.


Orange March Gets Council Backing

Published: October 21, 2004

PLANS for a major Orange Order procession in Penicuik on June 25
next year were given the go ahead by Midlothian Council's General
Purposes Committee last week.

The decision follows discussions between representatives of the
Order and the local police after the two sides were unable to agree
on an acceptable route.

The Order's original proposed route which included Glaskhill
Terrace and Cuiken Terrace met with opposition from the police, who
argued that they had not had adequate reassurance regarding access
for emergency services during the parade with possible danger to
public safety resulting from the length of time that access to the
town would be prevented.

In further discussions, the Lodge's representatives said that they
would have been prepared to delay the march by a week to avoid a
clash with Loanhead Gala, but that the following weekend coincided
with the G8 Summit meeting at Gleneagles which would provide a
major call on police resources.

Several routes were considered and a compromise was finally reached
which involved assembling in the Public Park and then following the
route Carlops Road — John Street, Eastfield Drive, Kirkhill Road,
Kentigern Way, John Street, Carlops Road and to the Public Park
where a rally will be held.

The estimated number of those taking part is now given as 6000.

The Lodge has also told Midlothian Council that local Lodges plan
to parade prior to the main event, marching from the Town Hall to
the Public Park. Details of these plans will be put to the Council
nearer the time.

A condition attached to the march is that there will be no playing
of musical instruments on the stretch of John Street between
Kentigern Way and Tait Drive.


Near-Record Field For Marathon

By Paul Cullen and Tim O'Brien

More than 10,500 runners will compete in the 25th Dublin City
Marathon on Monday.

The near-record turnout - the first marathon attracted a field of
just over 2,000 runners in 1979 - features a strong entry from the
United States and Canada.

Organisers say the race will bring up to 20,000 people, including
runners and their friends, into the city for the weekend. The value
of their custom is estimated at €12 million.

They rejected criticism of the fees charged for this year's race,
which have increased by more than 70 per cent on last year for some

Last year's fees varied from €30 for Irish runners to €50 for
overseas entrants. This year, fees for all EU runners were set at
€50, while late entrants and non-EU applications were charged €70.
A further €7 was charged for handling Internet/credit card

Last night a spokeswoman said the EU Commission had told organisers
they could not charge differential fees to entrants from different
EU member-states.

In addition, runners were being provided with a timing chip this
year. Although the chips had to be returned after the race, their
rental involved considerable expense, she explained.

Adidas is the main sponsor, but most of its support is given in
kind, in the form of T-shirts, blankets and jackets for more than
700 stewards.

Runners from 64 countries are taking part in Monday's race, which
starts at 9 a.m. in Nassau Street (wheelchair athletes start five
minutes earlier).

The course, which is substantially the same as last year, leads
over O'Connell Bridge and then follows a 26.2-mile route on both
sides of the Liffey. The finish is at Merrion Square West.

The race director, Mr Jim Aughney, described the resurgence in
entries as "incredible".

"Early entries were way up on the last few years, but based on the
entry numbers we would normally receive in the last few weeks, we
really did not expect to meet our target.

"We are obviously delighted to finally break the 10,000 mark again,
particularly in our 25th anniversary year," he said.

Thirty-four runners have completed every Dublin Marathon to date,
33 men and one woman, Ms Mary Nolan Hickey.

Among the elite runners in this year's race is South Africa's
Zacharia Mpolokeng, who won in 2001 and finished 3rd in 2002.

The women's record has been smashed in the last two marathons, and
yet again the women's field looks set to hold a new record-breaker.

Florence Barosio, a sister of the famous Kenyan marathon runner,
Sally Barosio, is one of the favourites. She holds a personal best
of 2:27:00 from New York in 2000.

© The Irish Times


Professor Wakes Up Forgotten Music

Weekend: Music Talk
By Andrew S. Hughes
Tribune Staff Writer

Mick Moloney specializes in a "forgotten" period of Irish American
music: the 19th century. He'll lecture about and perform songs from
that period today at Washington Hall on the University of Notre
Dame campus.

In performance

Mick Moloney presents a lecture about Irish music in America and
performs at 8 p.m. today at Washington Hall on the campus of the
University of Notre Dame. Free. For more information, call (574)
631-5441 or visit the Web site

Boston College is sending its own Irishman to the University of
Notre Dame this weekend.

"I would like to think it won't make much difference to the
outcome," musician Mick Moloney says of his performance in
Washington Hall the night before B.C.'s Eagles play the Fighting
Irish on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

A professor in the Irish studies program and the music department
at New York University, Moloney is a visiting professor this
semester at Boston College, where he is teaching a course and doing
research on a fellowship at John J. Burns Library, which is
dedicated to rare books.

A native of County Limerick, Moloney played with Donal Lunny and
several folk bands in the 1960s and then with Paul Brady in the
Johnstons. He moved to the United States in 1973 and had the idea
for, and helped to form, the bands Green Fields of America and
Cherish the Ladies and has produced more than 40 albums, including
several of his own. In 1992, Moloney earned a doctorate in folklore
from the University of Pennsylvania.

Moloney's academic specialty is Irish American songs of the 19th
century, the topic for his lecture and source for the material
he'll perform Friday.

"It's sort of a forgotten chapter in Irish-American history,
really," he says. "From the 1870s to 1900, that would be the period
in which the Irish communities came after the Great Famine."

The songs from that era, Moloney says, "are forgotten" today, but
at the time, they were an important part of the Irish-American

"They were about the day-to-day issues of Irish life, the
construction of the cities, union organizing, politics, the
railroads, relationships with other ethnic groups," he says. "Every
issue that was central to Irish-American life ended up on the

These songs, Moloney says, differ substantially from those songs
that "idealize Ireland as a corner of paradise," a vision of the
island that most immigrants wouldn't recognize following the

"Its a pre-Tin Pan Alley vision of Irish-American life," he says.
"Tin Pan Alley came up with a romantic vision of Irish-American
life. This is a very gritty, urban version of life."


Irish Singer's Port Quiz Anger

Folk singer Christy Moore has criticised North Wales Police for
questioning him at the port of Holyhead for two hours as he arrived
by ferry.

The Irish singer-songwriter, who was on his way to gigs, said he
was angry and disturbed by invasive questions about his family and
his songs.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: "This doesn't help the peace process."

Police would not comment on individual cases but said they tried to
minimise inconvenience to travellers.

Sinn Fein's spokesman on justice, equality and human rights, Aengus
O'Snodaigh, said: "This doesn`t help the peace process, which is
all about better relationships between Britain and Ireland.

"It sounds like anti-Irish attitudes all over again. Christy Moore
is well known for his strong political beliefs and he shouldn`t be
treated in this manner just because people don`t like his songs.

"Irish people have had this for years where they`d be pulled in for
questioning under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. It`s sad to see
it`s still going on."

Mr Moore, who is performing in Liverpool this weekend, said that he
and his driver were at the beginning of a queue of six vehicles
coming off a ferry at Holyhead on Monday.

All the other cars were searched, but police did not inspect Mr
Moore's car, which was carrying up to 12 instrument cases and
microphone equipment.

We try to reduce inconvenience to people travelling through the
port as much as we can

North Wales Police

Mr Moore and his driver were then taken into separate interrogation
rooms and question under anti-terrorism laws.

He said: "It was heavy and harassing and invasive and scary. I was
at times quite frightened. It was a disturbing and scary episode.

Mr Moore said the officers asked him about his children, what they
were doing, and how much they were earning.

The said they also asked his driver for the names of his siblings
and his deceased parents, and both were questioned on what kind of
houses they had, how many bathrooms and what kind of cars they

"I was wondering what the hell was going on," he told RTE Radio.

"What were these guys trying to do? I didn't want to get angry even
though I was feeling angry.

"It's not really acceptable. I can't really make very much sense of
it. I felt quite sad about it because this type of thing is still
going on.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "Police working at the port
comply with legislation which allows us to conduct stop checks with
people travelling through the port under the Terrorism Act 2000.

"We try to reduce inconvenience to people travelling through the
port as much as we can."

"It`s easy to laugh about it now but I was ******** myself to tell
you the truth."

After the incident, Mr Moore decided to make a diplomatic complaint
and contacted the Irish ambassador in London and spoke with
officials at the Foreign Affairs Department in Dublin.

He said he and his driver will make full statements to the Foreign
Affairs Department when they return next week.

Mr Moore has been a singer for 40 years and recently reformed his
band Planxty, after more than 20 years.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/22 15:12:15 GMT

--- News

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